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US Coast Guards Harass Journalists Covering BP's Oil Spill Disaster
US coast guards harass journalists covering BP's oil spill disaster
By Greenslade Blog | Guardian.co.UK
News photographers and TV camera crews are claiming that they are being prevented from reporting on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
They complain that US federal and local officials, including coast guards, are blocking access to beaches where the effects of the spill are most visible.
A CBS TV crew was threatened with arrest when attempting to film an oil-covered beach last week. On Saturday, reporter Mac McClelland was blocked by police from visiting an island in Louisiana.
On Tuesday, a photographer with the New Orleans Times-Picayune was prevented from flying over the ocean after the plane company was issued with a temporary flight restriction after BP officials learned that a member of the press would be on board.
The US coast guard insists that its staff and BP have gone to great lengths to accommodate journalists. A coast guard spokesman said: "Roughly 400 members of the media have been given tours of the spill on either BP-contracted aircraft or coast guard helicopters." Read more.